Scott McLaughlin earned a convincing win Sunday at the Perth Supersprint, giving Team Penske a weekend sweep in the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship with team bosses Roger Penske, Tim Cindric and Dick Johnson in attendance.
Chaz Mostert, who started along pole-sitter McLaughlin on the front row, held on to his second spot and finished 4.6s behind the winner. Jamie Whincup finished third, with Mark Winterbottom and Will Davison rounding out the top five. The race was safety car-free.
Another day, another race win for @smclaughlin93!
— Supercars (@supercars) May 7, 2017
“For the team to have a clean sweep is fantastic for my championship,” McLaughlin said. “My aim was to take points off the guys in the top four places and we managed to do that.”
McLaughlin was dominant in his second win of the weekend, which came a day after a dominant drive seemed jeopardized when a miscommunication caused McLaughlin to dive into the pits unexpectedly instead of staying out to remain ahead of teammate Fabian Coulthard. But with a lead of more than three seconds, he was able to narrowly escape with a 1.3s win and lead the DJR Team Penske 1-2 finish. The weekend alleviated McLaughlin’s frustration with a lack of wins so far this season.
“We’ve been pretty consistent all year up front but I hadn’t put it together,” he admitted. “I was pretty disappointed after Phillip Island that we didn’t at least get one race win; I felt like we had a really good, strong car there. So to come here, we knew we had a pretty strong car on tires Friday, so to turn that into a couple race wins is fantastic.”
“It’s obviously pressure about having the big dogs in town, and at the end of the day it’s fantastic for the boys as well because they get a chance to show what they’ve got in front of the big boss, and they really get pumped up about it. Pit stops were fantastic and I felt like as a team we really smashed it this weekend which is really cool.”
— Shell V-Power Racing (@DJRTeamPenske) May 7, 2017
With the win, the top five in the championship are separated by 31 points. Coulthard (802 points)’s seventh-place finish gives him a 19-point lead over Shane van Gisbergen and 22 points ahead of Jamie Whincup, with McLaughlin and Mostert tied 31 markers back at 771.
“It’s great to see Scott take the win again today, awesome for him to get a couple under the belt this weekend,” Coulthard said. “My car was good, we just didn’t get the strategy right today. It’s one of those things where you roll the dice, and hope it pays off. Today wasn’t our day. The team did an awesome job on the pit stops, and I leave the weekend with an extended championship lead. Sharing the podium with Roger yesterday is something that I will remember for a long time.”